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  1. #1
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    WIP background

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    Hi guys, i suck at clouds. They never look natural and soft. Any pointers or tips to make this piece look better? Also any colors i could add to make it more interesting?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusT View Post
    Hi guys, i suck at clouds. They never look natural and soft. Any pointers or tips to make this piece look better? Also any colors i could add to make it more interesting?
    I think you're off to a good start. However, if you're trying to soften up the feel and look, clouds don't really have that harsh "cutoff" with the colors you're going with. I'm not sure what program you're using, but with Photoshop, I'd advise fading off your dark underbelly of the clouds, and possibly pull a bloom effect (more of a glow) on the lighter tops (fade with soft white/yellow/blues). Basically, blend your current colors a little more into each other. The Burn and Dodge tool are also highly effective in paintings like this. If you haven't watched any Bob Ross painting videos, I'd highly advise you check them out. He's amazing at doing clouds, although they're traditional paintings. It can still be applied digitally though.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks, I wanted a few of them to be very defined as the light hits them but ill try those things you asked me.

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    Hello!
    IMO, you did very well. If you suck at clouds I'd like to see things where you're good at! ;-) Did you use a photo reference for this one? If not you have a great imagination.
    I've made several clouds studies lately and what I've noticed is that they follow the general rules: lightened part are harder than those in shadows (Duh!). That's the point that bothers me in your picture. Every thing has hard edges and it hurts the picture.
    As fxscreamer said, blend the colors more and you'll be on the right track.
    If I were you, I use a semi-soft edge brush and fix this. Another option, if you use photoshop, is to use the super secret "mixer brush tool". I've discovered it quite lately and it can give painterly feeling to the pictures. You just have to understand how it works as it's rather different from regular brush tool.
    I've played a little with your picture (around 10 minutes) in this way. No need to say that I haven't "corrected" every place in the picture (too lazy) but I believe you'll see enough differences to get my point:

    Name:  Cloads low res.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  654.1 KB

    To finish, there is this guy on DA that makes stunning clouds pictures and I believe you should give him an good look: http://rhads.deviantart.com/gallery/

    Last edited by StefRob; June 15th, 2014 at 11:17 AM.
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    Yes this was from my mind, no references. I did use photoshop and I might check out that tool, however i would prefer to use as little tools as possible and just paint as much as possible. Thanks for the tips though! For what i am good at... well nothing really XD still learning!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusT View Post
    Yes this was from my mind, no references. I did use photoshop and I might check out that tool, however i would prefer to use as little tools as possible and just paint as much as possible. Thanks for the tips though! For what i am good at... well nothing really XD still learning!
    Ha! Ha!, I know the feeling. Talking about clouds, I run a speed painting group based on photographic references and we did covered this topic. I think you could find useful to compare the reference with the results and also the differences between each artist. It could give you some ideas or goal to reach. Check this out: http://speedpaintstudies.deviantart....77399&offset=0

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    Will do.

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    Hm, tbh I think that simply smudging around a bit does not solve anything for this picture. Blend tools like suggested StefRob only make the whole thing look, well...soft and textureless. (Go you for preferring to paint by hand! )
    You did really, really good on the colors and overall light/shadow distibution, already giving the clouds an awesome sense of size and volume. (*cough* Personally I think the 'harsh' painting style fits perfectly here. :'D Rhads's clouds aren't very soft/relistic looking either and his work is absolutely stunning!)
    But that's not what you were asking, so. Realism.

    I did a little paintover of the pretty cloud in the middle, steps included.

    Name:  Cloads low res.jpg
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    1. Your base (colors all there, shape is given -a great foundation to go into detailing C

    2. To give the cloud a suitable fluffy look, I broke up most of the hard edges with the soft round brush (ps default, I hope that's what it's called?) -but not all! The key is to find the right balance between hard and soft edges/detail vs little detail, it's especially crucial to clouds but also fur, for example.

    3. Using a special brush I redefined the whole thing (it's called viagnuage1? I don't remember where I got it, sorry! But any brush similar to it will do ;A; ) Again, try to find the balance between detail/no detail. If you give every part of the cloud the same texture it'll look ugly too!
    To stop the shape of the brush from creating visible repetition, I always alternate between stroking outwards (blue arrows) and then back into the cloud (green arrows). The wonderful thing about digital painting is that you can change your brush, it's opacity and the color you're painting with with a single click so just...keep scribbling away.

    4. At last I made a few strokes outside of the cloud, to show that it's not a blob of cotton candy, but actual water vapor that's being moved and pulled at by the air currents around it.

    Aaaand that's it. I really suggest you look up lots of refs for this piece since there are so many different kinds of clouds...it wouldn't be a good idea to apply the same technique to all of them.
    But yeah I hope this helps? I'm only in the process of learning myself and very, very far from being a professional ^^;

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    Wow! thanks man! That helps out tons!

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  14. #10
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    Glad to be of service!

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    Comments appreciated and will be returned! c:
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